Just got home from the Pokey AKC trial and had to post. I am so excited and happy with our runs. We ran 2 runs yesterday and 1 today...had to get home to the kiddos as hubby went to work this morning.
Wow is all I can think of. I just can't believe how well Killy and I ran. We were a team. We missed our A Frame contact in Standard yesterday or we would have qualified and only one handling bobble, but it didn't cause a refusal, I just think I can do it better and smoother. I had a flip to a tunnel off the dogwalk and tried to do a verbal flip at first...why??? I don't know, pressure...who knows, anyway it just cost time as Killy looked at me with a cocked head, like what??? as soon as I turned my body, he flipped into the tunnel. Then coming out of the tunnel there was a redirect to the teeter. I stood still again.....if I had moved he would have spun coming out.
Jumpers yesterday was a really tough course. The opening was a very tight slice to the right. I opted to do a wrap which would add time, but would provide a better approach to the next jump. He did that beautifully...I had trouble at the weaves, I started to turn and pulled him out, then had trouble with him anticipating, but we finished the weaves. Just no Q.
Today we had a clean jumpers run and a Q......25.02 Sec!!!! I could have shaved off another 1 1/2 sec if I didn't have another bobble or two. Always things to work on:)
So, I set up a mini course by Dana Pike to work last weekend. It was a really great course since it made you not babysit your contacts. In order to handle the course and get where you needed to, it meant you had to have some lateral distance. It was really fun. I split it up into pieces for Killy. I wanted us to work on being successful at each piece-only doing it once and rewarding at the end. It worked! We ran each piece successfully and got in some great rewards for him. I think it showed, he is watching me and listening and taking my directions.....and COLLECTING!!!! My dog is learning how to collect. I am very happy how we are coming along.
I ran Lacey thru the whole thing and she did awesome! Not one bobble....must be my handling...right? I feel like I am improving.
Wow! What a great weekend we had. The courses were fun, the trial small and the weather was beautiful!
We ran a total of 5 runs for the weekend and qualified in 3 of the runs. The other two were very small mistakes. We finished titles in P2 Snooker, P2 Pairs, P2 Standard and our PD2 title.
Lacey also ran really well. I know my handling is improving and she is running better and better. I am getting clearer with my signals and my timing is getting better. Lacey ran 2 runs per day. We had an awesome P3 Snooker run going, but I sent her in the wrong end of the tunnel. She had perfect contacts and weaves (something we have been battling for her career) in P3 Standard, just a handling error one day ( I was late and sent her off course) and two refusals the next day (I pulled her off a jump and didn't drive to the table). We qualified in P2 Jumpers the next day.
We did 3 days out of a 4 day AKC trial Labor Day weekend. What fun!! The weather was great. It was a little hot on Saturday, but otherwise there was enough of a breeze and a little shade with some clouds that made it bearable.
I was very happy with our runs. The first JWW run on Saturday was rough. We just were not connected and I wasn't handling. I could feel it, but we pulled it together and every other run that weekend I was very pleased with. No Q's, but we were working together as a team. Killy gave me awesome and I mean awesome contacts. They were just like we had worked at home. He was doing his 4 on the floor perfectly. I couldn't have asked for anything better. He was really listening too. Now as my handling improves, we will get even better.
I was a little disappointed with his weaves and he wasn't consistent with his entries and sometimes popped out. Other runs he was fine. More training here. I need to remember a weight shift back to help him collect prior to the weaves if he is in extension.
I also got to see a friend get her MACH. Awesome, fun weekend.
Went to the Mid-West on a vacation and we did a USDAA trial in Marengo, OH on the way. Nice trial, great bunch of people. Got to see some new faces. The best part was Killy picked up two P2 Std. legs! I was really happy. I actually was handling him. There were some tough parts, but he did awesome! He listened, collected and hit all his contacts.
I need to work weaves as he missed entries both days, but in all fairness, I think it was me saying something each time. I know I said something on Sunday and he turned around out of the weaves with a " What did you say?" look. I need to keep my mouth shut and let him work.
Contacts were awesome after we have been struggling with the aframe. I did a running aframe all weekend with him and he nailed it. Now I need to commit to it. I can't expect him to change the performance. That is a little scary to me, it means I actually have to HANDLE and not be LAZY. Hmmm.....things to work on. Team work means Killy and I...not just Killy trying to read my mind????? Really???? He is very smart:)
The courses aren't as challenging as USDAA, in my opinion, so for me that's good. It allows me to practice my newfound handling skills without the added challenge of remembering the course or having too many off courses, refusals, etc.
I entered Killy in Jumpers and Standard on Saturday and Jumpers, 2 Standards, Gamblers and Trigility on Sunday.
We were awesome. I was handling for once. It felt like we were a team. He was so responsive in the Standard on Saturday, that I pulled him off a jump, but I was happy because he was paying attention! We had 1 Q in Jumpers on Saturday, on Sunday we Q'd in Gamblers (he was the only Q in Intern), Trigility and 1 Standard. The second Standard and Jumpers, he wasn't focused and he wasn't collecting, so he was going wide, missed a contact in Standard, just not pretty, but at least I know why and I can work on the focus piece. He needs to pay attention! I had perfect contacts all weekend except the last Standard and I think it was position. For all the others, I was handling the aframe, the last one, I was behind him and not in front to handle it. That means more work on my body position.
Lacey was perfect! I really mean that as she ran 3 runs on Saturday (100% Q Rate!!!!) and 4 runs on Sunday only missing 1 aframe contact for her only NQ. She qualified 6/7 runs. I have never had that success with her. I really think Stacey's tips are helping and I am learning how to handle. She not only q'd, but had the fastest times in most of the classes, not just in her jump height and division. Today she ran a Beginning Standard course in 21 Sec!!! Amazing!. The next dog (also a BC) was about 23 1/2 sec. I ran her in the North America Challenge and she qualified for Nationals! I have both dogs qualified now, so I really want to go.
I didn't get any video. It was too hot and the trial was so small, everyone really had to pitch in and help.
Where to start.....Wow is a good word. This event was a 4 Star Event and really drew a diverse crowd. I got to see some top handlers from around the country compete and it was really awesome to watch them run their dogs.
As I think back over the weekend, Overall Killy and I ran well. I didn't handle some things, so those things fell apart.- no brainer there, huh??? The team classes were really tough for us, good feedback that we are not quite ready to run courses at that level of difficulty, but really fun to try and a good way to know what we need to keep working on and working towards.
I have started running Lacey again....and she is doing awesome!!! I had semi-retired her and was letting my daughter run her in ASCA and DOCNA, but after running her when I went to Stacey P-G's and in a workshop, I thought I would give it a try. As my handling improves (Thank You Stacey P-G!!!! You are an awesome teacher:)), I have been having more success running her.
I ran her in P3 Standard and P3 Snooker for the weekend. We had no Q's (she's a little rusty in the weaves and contacts always require maintenenace) in Standard. Snooker she was great, I didn't support the #6 tunnel and she pulled in and took the off course Aframe. Otherwise, it was a great run.
It's been awhile since I have had a chance to sit down and write. Busy,busy,busy has been the past few weeks.
We went to the USDAA trial in Brighton, CO two weeks ago. Killy got one Q in P2 Jumpers and 1st Place! It was an awesome way to end the weekend. I was really happy with the rest of the runs even though we didn't Q. Gamblers-A really awesome gamble. It was the smoothest gamble, just beautiful. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough opening points:( Standard, both runs were really nice. No Off courses! Yeah! Thank You Stacy for helping us, my handling is improving. We didn't qualify in standard due to table faults and an aframe contact. So, just training. I can work on those things. Pairs, Killy ran clean, but my partner had an off course, so no Q there. Snooker was heartbreaking. A beautiful run, but a knocked bar in the close took us out. Overall, a really great weekend.
Went to Stacy's this week to work on handling, handling and more handling and boy did I need it. It was really nice to be able to be there three days in a row and see the improvment and the understanding on my end grow. My plan was to run Killy, but as it turned out it was a good thing that Lacey was there as well. Killy ripped his pads on all 4 feet the first day. Poor thing, he is such a tenderfoot. We were outside since the building wasn't quite finished yet. So, Lacey stepped up and I ran her the next two days. I didn't have many expectations running Lacey. I have pretty much stopped training her and competing with her. Well, did I eat those words! Lacey was awesome! Fast, tight turning...WOW! Okay, now I have decided to start running her again. She didn't bark at me at all! It was all in the handling, now that my handling is improving, her barking is going away. We both are not as frustrated. I do need to work her contacts since I didn't really train them from a distance or with any crosses. So, I am going to do that and then start competing with her again.
Lacey will be running in Jumpers and Snooker in June. Killy will be running PVP and then I need to decide what else to enter him in. We decided at the workshop to work a running aframe. It makes the most sense. When I drive forward he has a beautiful aframe and stretching over the yellow. So, my goal for the next month is to work a running aframe with him....once his little footies heal:)
We had the opportunity to work with Stacey Peardot-Goudy last week and this week. The main thing I learned with Killy right now is I move way too much. Any little movement right now in his training sends him somewhere (and not always where we want to go). Sometimes, I have to stand still and get his head and then move.
It's a very hard thing for me to do, it feels like I should be moving-always:) Even when my brain says-don't move, wait for his head, I feel my feet or my body just slightly shift and boom-off course.
I guess I have to practice more zen agility-calm, don't move, be patient, let the cross happen:)
Went out the other day and timed his contacts & weaves. I did two runs on each contact and the weaves and averaged the two times. I did not push him at all, I sent him and let him do his own performance. I am pretty happy with the times, especially knowing I did not push him at all. If I pushed him, the times would have been even lower.
Here are his times right now: Dogwalk-2.60 Sec. , Teeter-1.5 Sec., A-Frame-2.0 Sec., Weaves-2.5 Sec.
Killy's P2 Standard run is posted on youtube. See the link on the bottom right of the blog to view.
I had thought originally that our run was terrible. Thank Goodness for the video because it was really pretty good overall. We had a great run to the A-Frame. The bobble after the frame was my fault. We had to push to the left over a jump. I signaled "turn" and he turned tight...looking for a flip into a tunnel under the frame. I should have just pushed toward the jump and gave him a verbal jump command.....I need to remember that. Goes back to my mantra of being consistent with my verbals as well as my signals. The weaves were all Killy, though. He did a drive by (no collection) and popped. I could see his head come up on the video, turn and anticipate the next obstacle. Just mileage here. He gets amped at the trials and just needs to remember to do his poles.
Well, it was cold, windy and snowy on Saturday. Thank goodness we were inside, although, it was still really cold inside the building. I am really a warm weather kind of person though, so take that review with a grain of salt. I was very pleased with how Killy and I ran overall. We had two Q's. One in P2 Snooker and one in P2 Pairs, but we were close in all the others. Even in Performance Speed Jumping...only one jump away from a Q, but our time was slow.
The bad things from the weekend: Weave issues: either not hitting the entry or popping once in. Today, at home, he was great, so I think it's a matter of trials and mileage. My handling: late,late,late, not driving.
The good: Contacts: Great contacts all weekend. He listens! Jumpers! Last run of the day and we got it together. He knocked a bar and I lost focus so he went off course, but what a great run.
Dogs really are honest souls and I have to appreciate Killy's honesty today with the table. His table behavior is to jump on and lay down, I cue "table" and he lays down. To be truthful, I never really paid attention to whether I was signaling down with a hand signal or verbally saying down. Anyway, I assumed that the cue table meant "jump on the table and lay down". Well.......today I learned table = down.
We decided today to practice a tunnel and some jumps to the table. It would be fun and fast for the dogs and we could practice our tables. There were three straight jumps to the table. My plan was to cue early (as I am usually late, but trying to get better) for the table. I am driving hard, yell "table" between jump 2 & 3, keep driving....wait! Where's my dog? He's lying down between jump 2&3...the same time when I yelled table!
Needless to say, I changed my table word to "hup" and he's fine. I use "hup" when I want him to jump up on things, so it's not a word he has to learn.
My thought is based on last post and this one, I really need to define my cues better. What I think they mean and what Killy understands them as is not always the same. That and timing of commands will be my goals this year. Clean up the timing and clean up the cues.
I have had issues on and off since last fall with Killy missing his down contact on his A-frame. He has a 4 on the floor and up until fall it was solid. I tried to figure out what was causing the problem-was he too excited at trials? Was I not driving forward enough and his head was coming up causing him to leap over the yellow? Was he reinforced to much for the bottom behavior causing him to leap over the yellow?
Well, I think I found the cause today. Last fall our A-Frame developed a small hole when one of the nails holding the slats in place came out. My solution until my husband fixed it, was to take a piece of duct tape and put it across the A-frame where the slat was. We used the frame all fall and winter (we had a nice winter). Today I was working some a-frame tunnel discriminations so I was primarily using the down side with the duct tape on and I noticed something...each time his front feet hit the tape-he leapt! I ran him the other way...no duct tape and he ran down entire side beautifully, just like he was taught. Ran the other way again w/duct tape....leap. Hmmmm....I think he has picked up the tape as a cue. Not sure why he is doing it in a trial though, but I think I figured out why he is doing it at home.
Welcome to my Blog! This blog will be to track my career and training of my Border Collie Killy. Hopefully, we will see our improvement week over week as we train this year. I feel like this year will be a good one to work on small things like tighter turns, deeceleration cues and weave entries. We have all the speed and distance we need, although I found out that I have never taught Killy "Out", he has always just done it. So, we will add the word "Out" to our list as well.